Robert McLaws: Windows Edition

Blogging about Windows since before Vista became a bad word

XNA Games Coming to Zune, Live & Live Marketplace Next?

At their GDC '08 Keynote, Microsoft showed off Zauri, a "top-down shooter" built using XNA Game Studio... running on a Zune 2. Microsoft's Chris Satchell did the demo, and he said that games would be portable across the Microsoft entertainment ecosystem, "from Windows to Xbox to Zune."

This is fantastic news, even though it is REALLY short on details. Hopefully it is only the beginning of the cross-platform Live news. I'm eagerly awating the day when Microsoft announces the Live Marketplace plugin for Windows Media Center, and I can either transfer Live Marketplace movies from my Xbox 360 to my Zune, or use the wireless functionality of my Zune to buy and download movies without having to hook up to my PC.

UPDATE: I've gleaned a bit more information from the blogosphere. Neil Hutson just posted a roadmap and overall featureset. It seems that this capability will come with the next version of XNA Game Studio (3.0) which will be previewed this April for RTM in the Fall. Other expectations:

  • Local ad-hoc wireless play with up to 8 Zunes
  • User can customize in-game music from whatever is on the Zune
  • Write-once, run anywhere... but cross-platform multiplayer is not supported (Zune users can't connect to Xbox 360 sessions, etc)

UPDATE 2: Dave "LetsKillDave" Weller has updated the XNA Creators Club site with an overview of the changes, and has also written a FAQ diving deeper into what to expect.